Many free toy animal knitting patterns are available on the Internet. It takes time to sift through. I did that so you don’t have to. I tried to cover a wide range of animals including domestic and wild animals.
Why Knit Toy Animals
Knitted toy animals make great gifts especially for non-knitters than socks, sweaters or scarves. You don’t have to worry about their sizes and their fashion preferences. And all kids love toy animals.
The smaller-sized toy animals are great yarn busters as they often need only 50 yards or less. They are also quicker to finish.
Knitted toys usually feature various types of techniques for shaping such as short rows, increasing and decreasing, and because knitted toys are small projects, they are a great way to pick up these techniques without committing to a large project like a sweater, cardigan and more.
Oh, most toy animals do not require blocking. Yay!
Toy Animal Knitting Tips
To knit toy animals, you really need to know how to knit in the round. Most animals either have a round body or designers will design a cute round body for it. Limbs are almost always knit in the round. Knitting all the tiny pieces flat and then seaming them up is too tedious to be enjoyable.
Be bold with facial expressions. Decide and practise how you want to do eyes, nose, mouth because the instructions in the pattern are usually not that clear unless they are buttons, plastic eyes or noses or cut-out felt shapes.
For toys meant for young children, choking is a major concern so make sure the items you choose to use are safe for kids. Embroidered faces are the safest. You get also get kids-safe plastic eyes and noses. Here is a blog post by Simply Notables on creating eyes and noses using needle felting and embroidery.
Toy animals can be either realistic or cute. A good example is the 2 octopus patterns on my list. One is uber realistic while the other is cute and cuddly.
Free Toy Animal Knitting Patterns
1. Marie’s Nameless Dog
Nameless is made up of several garter stitch rectangles and squares. It is easy to put it together with a bit of sewing. What a great cuddly toy for a small child it makes.
Pattern: Nameless dog
2. Lizzard’s Jake The Dog
Are you a fan of Adventure Time? Then you must try this pattern by Lizzard. Fin is available too.
Pattern: Jake The Dog
3. Sarah’s McIntyre’s Polar Pug
This pug is so cute. But fair warning, there are 9 parts to sew together. But if you have the book “Pugs of the Frozen North“, you gotta have this pug.
Pattern: Polar Pug
4. Sarah Keen’s Sheep Dog
Designed by Sarah Keen for Knitted Farm Animals. It looks like a proper dog but still cute nonetheless.
Pattern: Sheep Dog
5. Louise’s Jiji The Cat
Jiji The black cat is the companion of Kiki, the girl who deliver parcels by flying on a broomstick, an animation movie called “Kiki’s Delivery Service” from Studio Ghibli. This pattern doesn’t have limbs but is still very cat-like. Watch a trailer.
Pattern: Jiji the Cat
6. Jenny’s Share Kitty
This is a big kitty at 41 cm tall. Legs, body
Pattern: Share Kitty
7. Jess’ Kate The Cat
Kate’s body and arm are knitted in one piece. The head is one colour and the body has 2 colours. This means that you will need to prepare 3 balls of yarn. Legs, arms, and ears are made separately and attached to the body. This is a tail-less cat. 🙂
Pattern: Kate The Cat
8. Sara’s Parlor Cat
Sara captures a very typical habit of a kitty cat. Sitting with paws and legs under the body and tail curled and wrapped around the body. Just looking at it is relaxing. And it is knitted in the round in one piece from head to tail. Minimum sewing and making up. How cute the cat turns out is determined by how well you can make up the face. 😛
Pattern: Parlor Cat
9. Rachel’s Marisol The Knitted Mouse
Marisol has such a sweet round face and a long pink tail. It looks best with grey yarn for the body and head and pink yarn for ears and tail. Too cute. She reminds me of Celestine from “Ernest and Celestine“. A storybook by Gabrielle Vincent that had been turned into an animated film by Benjamin Renner. See the trailer here –
10. Paton’s Country Mouse
Knit this big sweet mouse for a child that loves to cuddle. There are quite a few pieces to knit up but since it is a big toy, hopefully, it isn’t too fiddly to handle.
Pattern: Country Mouse
11. Stilton the Mouse
Who can resist a cuddly mouse? You need to know how to knit in the round because all the limbs and body parts are knitted in the round.
12. Spud and Chloe’s Flamingo
This pink flamingo has an added bouncy ball inside so it will bounce when you throw it. Gives the body a nice round shape too. You will need to know how to do a picot binding or at least be willing to learn it.
13. Valley Yarns’ Knitted Robin
This pattern will make a 4-inch tall red-breasted robin. There is also a pattern for a crochet version.
Pattern: Knitted Robin
14. Janice’s Easter Chickens
I have a preference for whimsical design and Janice’s chicken fit the bill. 🙂
Pattern: Easter Chicken
15. Betsy’s Goose
I thought this goose pattern is really realistic. The shaping is really good.
Pattern: Goose knitting pattern
16. April Cromwell’s Rabbit and Bear
The pattern comes with the patterns for a rabbit and bear plus 5 clothing items.
Pattern: Rabbit and Bear knitting patterns
17. Organico Rabbit
Pattern: Organico rabbit
18. Sara’s Henry’s Rabbit
All the pieces of this knitted rabbit are knitted in the round so there are minimal sewing up. The eyes, nose and whiskers can either be embroidered or sewn in buttons or felt pieces depending on the recipient.
The rabbit is about 12 inches long and 6 inches tall.
Pattern: Sara’s Rabbit knitting pattern
19. Henry’s Bunny
Henry’s bunny is created using short rows to shape the body, head and ears. The ears are tricky which is why designer took pictures and with step-by-step instructions. The model bunny is not very big, the size of a palm but I think it could be made larger by using bulky yarn and bigger needles.
Pattern: Henry’s Bunny
20. Sarah’s Knitted Elephant
With 2 gleaming white tusks and flared ears, Sarah’s elephant reminds me of Babar The Elephant. Different parts of the body are knitted separately and then assembled. This gives the elephant a more realistic shape.
Pattern: Knitted elephant knitting pattern
21. Sara’s Babar Elephant
I mentioned that Sarah’s knitted elephant reminded me of Babar. Here is a pattern for an 11 inch Babar. The pattern includes Babar, his green suit, a bowler hat, his King’s cape and crown. Very cool.
Pattern: Babar The Elephant knitting pattern
22. Gabrielle’s Armadillo
For Gabrielle’s first attempt, this cute armadillo pattern is actually quite good. There are a couple of pieces but the making up is quite straightforward.
Pattern: Armadillo knitting pattern
23. Sara’s Beaver
This knitted beaver is about 16 inches long complete with a big flat tail. Don’t you just like its big fat butt?
Pattern: Beaver knitting pattern
24. Purl Soho’s Knitted Hedgehogs
This hedgehog has a really sweet face. It doesn’t come with feet so if you think your hedgehog needs some, knit some of your own.
Pattern: Knitted hedgehog knitting pattern
25. Cate’s Octopus Opus
The MOST realistic octopus I have ever seen! Cate uses plastic eyes and created eyelids which really add something different to the octopus. If you are knitting this for a small kid, you can substitute the eyes with safety eyes or use black yarn.
Pattern: Cate’s Octopus knitting pattern
26. Purl Soho’s Knit Octopus
Unlike Cate’s ultra-realistic octopus, Purl Soho’s is a cute one in warm white. The tentacles feature an interesting stitch pattern. You must be comfortable knitting in the round using double-pointed needles, magic loop or 2 circular needles because there is quite a bit of that going on. Purl Soho has very clear instructions on how to connect the tentacles to the body so it is a good project to learn how to do the assembly.
Pattern: Purl Soho’s knitted octopus
27. Ruth’s Turtle Sheldon
Sheldon is cute but also practical. His shell can be removed to be washed separately. Knit up additional shells in different colours for Sheldon to change into. What a great idea!
Pattern: Sheldon The Turtle
28. Kathy’s Little Black Owl
I am not sure why but there are a lot of free owl knitting patterns. Some are really good and I think it is a perfect project for someone learning to knit in the round.
This cute little owl is basically a knitted ball with felt circles and black buttons as eyes. It is really quite straightforward if you already know how to knit in the round and do increases and decreases.
29. Amanda’s Stuffy Owl
Knit in one piece. The eyes and beak are added after knitting using duplicate stitch. No tricky colourwork here although the chart is given if you want to try that. The project is knitted flat and the pieces are sewn together.
Pattern: Stuffy Owl knitting pattern
30. Purl Soho’s Big Snowy Owl
When Purl Soho called this big, they meant it. This is a humongous project, as big as an adult cat. It requires Super Bulky yarn and US size 15 needles. I tried knitting this with a worsted weight yarn. It still works. Here is my owl. I should have used a different yarn to knit the eyes and beak. Or use felt cloth instead. But the body is good.
Pattern: Big Snowy Owl knitting pattern
31. Knit-a-Zoo’s Cordell The Owl
Cordell is a silly looking owl. Knit in the round from bottom to head and is about 11 cm high.
Pattern: Cordell knitting pattern
32. Fuzzy Mitten lamb
Designed by Barbara Prime. Softies are good for any age but Fuzzy Lamb is a nice size for a toddler. According to Barbara,
The type of yarn you use will determine the look. Use yarn with fuzz for the body and non-fuzz for the face will make the facial feature more prominent. The designer is generous, you can make this toy lamb to sell but not for mass production. Skills needed: stockinette and garter stitch, increases, decreases and sewing up seams.
Pattern: Fuzzy lamb knitting pattern
There are really a lot of free toy animal knitting patterns out there to try.